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Friday, December 12, 2014

The long history of GM’s ignition switch cover up

Today's post is shared from
GM’s ignition switch defect has now been linked to 38 deaths to date. The ignition switch problem was so obvious that customers, journalists and even GM employees were reporting the problem a decade before GM finally admitted the issue and recalled the cars.
Way back in 2005, one frightened customer wrote to both GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), stating that “This is a safety/recall issue if ever there was one . . . The problem is the ignition turn switch is poorly installed. Even with the slightest touch, the car will shut off while in motion. I don’t have to list for you the safety problems that may happen, besides an accident or death, a car turning off while doing a high speed must cause engine and other problems in the long haul . . . I firmly believe that this ignition switch needs to be recalled, reexamined and corrected.” Yet, GM did nothing.
That same year, New York Times journalist Jeff Sabatini commented on an odd issue with his Chevrolet Cobalt. His wife was driving on the freeway when she accidentally bumped her knee on the steering column and the car “just went dead.” On looking into the issue, he found another writer with the same problem. Journalist Gary Heller of Pennsylvania’s The Daily Item had also experienced “unplanned engine shutdowns [that] happened four times during a hard-driving test week” in his Cobalt. The...
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